Hutomo "Tommy" Mandala Putra, the son of former Indonesian President Suharto, confirmed that he would run for the chairmanship bidding of the Golkar Party, his father's political vehicle, the Jakarta Globe reported here.
Speaking in a press conference held here on Thursday evening, Tommy outlined his vision for the party, saying that Golkar should become an independent and dynamic political party.
Tommy brushed aside questions concerning his past, including his conviction for ordering the July 2001 murder of Supreme Court Justice Syafiuddin Kartasasmita, who convicted him of fraud in 2000, saying he respected the justice system.
The fraud conviction was later overturned and though Tommy was convicted of murder in 2002, he was released after serving just four years.
"Let the Golkar members be the judges of whether I am truly guilty or whether the law had been manipulated against me," he said.
Political analyst Sebastian Salang questioned what Tommy could bring to the Golkar party.
"We just know that he is the son of a former president and has a lot of money. He has no experience in how to grow and maintain a party," Salang said.
"Now the question for all Golkar members is whether they are going to give their votes to a candidate who has a lot of money, or to a candidate who can give them new power to rise up and overcome the embarrassing loss in the last election."
Salang also questioned the direction of Golkar itself if it allowed such a controversial figure to contest the chairmanship.
Four candidates would run in the Golkar Party chairmanship bidding scheduled for Oct. 4 to 7 this year.